Government says “The UK remains committed to ensuring that those responsible for atrocities in Sudan are held to account” and pledges that “the horrific atrocities being committed in Darfur, will be investigated impartially.”

May 28, 2024 | News

Lord Benyon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL4616):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask His Majesty’s Government, following the UK Address to the UN Security Council on 19 April, what is their assessment of the international community’s efforts to end the war in Sudan and bring to justice those responsible for atrocity crimes. (HL4616)

Tabled on: 14 May 2024

Lord Benyon:

The UK continues to work with a wide range of countries and bodies, including Gulf and African partners, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union and the UN, to achieve a ceasefire, and a sustained and meaningful peace process that leads to the resumption of civilian rule in Sudan. The UK uses its position as penholder on Sudan at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to increase pressure on the warring parties. The UK remains committed to ensuring that those responsible for atrocities in Sudan are held to accounts. In October, the Human Rights Council adopted the UK-led ‘Sudan Core Group’ resolution to establish an independent and international Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to ensure the credible allegations of human rights violations and abuses by all sides, including the horrific atrocities being committed in Darfur, will be investigated impartially. We continue to support the essential work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sudan (OHCHR) and the International Criminal Court in investigating and documenting reports of atrocities.

Date and time of answer: 23 May 2024 at 17:13.


Surge in sexual violence against women and girls in Darfur: report

May 22, 2024 (KAMPALA) – At least 142 cases of sexual violence against women and girls have been reported in Darfur, according to a report by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS).

Titled ” Sudan War: A surge of unwanted pregnancies as a result of sexual violence”, the report details cases in the states of North and South Darfur and West Darfur.

The majority of the victims were internally displaced women and girls aged 12 to 40. In some cases, the victims were raped by armed men in RSF uniforms. Many victims did not receive medical assistance due to a lack of supplies and disruptions to humanitarian aid.

In El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, there have been at least 20 cases of rape and three cases of sexual harassment. The eastern neighbourhoods of the city, which are under the control of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), have been particularly affected.

In Tawilla locality, at least 32 women and girls were sexually assaulted by RSF members during a three-day attack. The RSF also raided Tawilla Hospital and looted supplies, equipment, and ambulances, further hindering victims from getting medical assistance.

In Kutum town, at least 29 women and girls were raped during an attack by the RSF and allied militias on June 5, 2023. The attackers also raided and looted private homes.

In El Geneina, West Darfur, at least 30 cases of sexual violence against women and girls were reported between June 26 and August 4, 2023. The attacks occurred in various neighbourhoods of the city, including Aljamarik, Altadamon, Althura, and Alzuhoor.

The report highlights the devastating impact of the conflict in Darfur on women and girls. It calls on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and to protect civilians from sexual violence. The report also calls for increased humanitarian assistance to help victims of sexual violence.


Letter to Members of Congress from Esther Sprague of Sudan Unlimited

Dear Members of Congress,

Reliable reports indicate that within 7-10 days or less, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese men, women and children living in the area of El Fasher will be in danger, with likely high casualties, due to fighting between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab’s May 21 report states:

“If the current combat trajectory in El-Fasher remains unchanged, RSF encirclement and defeat of SAF’s 6th infantry division and aligned forces through attrition is highly likely in days to weeks.  RSF could then target civilians, especially non-Arab ethnic groups, in and around El-Fasher at will.  These at-risk populations have no clear route to safely escape El-Fasher before this scenario may occur.”

The situation is so dangerous, every major international NGO has been evacuated.  El Fasher is an area with 2 million people, including 800,000 internally displaced of which 75% are women and children.  Many have been there for 15-20 years.  El Fasher was the last place of refuge in Darfur for those seeking at least minimal safety, medical care, and other basic necessities.

The United Arab Emirates can influence the RSF.  The RSF runs key operations out of the UAE that fuel the violence in Darfur.

The United States, United Kingdom and France can influence the UAE.  The message should be, “The RSF and its Middle Eastern backers must be aware that the fall of El Fasher will cause all available financial and diplomatic consequences to be applied.”

The Biden Administration seems reluctant to take this approach because of consequences that may impact Israel and Palestine.  It is a false and cynical conclusion that Africans need to be sacrificed to save Jews and Arabs.  

The RSF does not need to launch attacks on Africans or anyone in Sudan.  The UAE can apply pressure on the RSF and be constructive in the Middle East.  Both can happen and both are good for the UAE and international peace and security.

Please tell President Biden, Secretary Blinken and National Security Director Jake Sullivan that you know what they know, and you expect the United States of America to employ every possible resource and every ounce of ingenuity to prevent mass killing in El-Fasher, Darfur in the days ahead.

This is happening on your watch.  Please do everything you can to sound the alarm before it is too late.  


Esther Sprague

Sudan Unlimited

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